How to Destroy Mental Strongholds

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Are you struggling with negative emotions that control you and keep you from experiencing joy and peace? Are you bogged down in negative behaviors that you can’t seem to overcome? Are you feeling hopeless, powerless, and stuck? If so, you may be in bondage to mental strongholds.

What are mental strongholds?

In his well-known book, Freedom from Fear, Dr. Neil Anderson describes mental strongholds as follows: “Strongholds are habit patterns of thought that have been burned into our minds over time or by the intensity of traumatic experiences. They are revealed in our personalities and greatly influence how we live and respond to life.” *

The more negative events you have experienced in life, the more you may be suffering from mental strongholds. Those negative experiences shaped your perception and your thinking and carved pathways of response in you that may have become unhealthful.  In other words, your experiences from the instant you were conceived have programmed you to perceive and respond to life based on those experiences.

For example, an infant or child who was repeatedly abused by his father will develop a stronghold of fear and mistrust that will, if not dealt with and healed by the power of God, last his entire lifetime. A child who was abandoned by a parent will develop a fear of abandonment and rejection that will, if not healed by the power of God, last an entire lifetime.

Mental strongholds manifest in a variety of ways, but usually as some form of fear. In psychological parlance, these are called “phobias” and are of many kinds and varieties.

Mental strongholds always result from believing a lie. When we identify the lie, renounce the lie, and replace it with the truth, the stronghold will be destroyed. 

So, what should you do if you suspect you have a mental stronghold? Here are some. proven tips:

1__Pray and believe God’s promise in Psalm 23: 3 that the Lord restores your soul.  The mind is part of the soul, so when God restores your soul, He restores your mind as well.

2__Saturate yourself with the Word of God and learn who you are in Christ. Strongholds are always based on lies about our true identity. Studying the Word will give you a clear picture of your identity in Christ as a born-again believer.

3__Seek the wise counsel of a mature and trusted Christ-Follower. Such believers have themselves often been through the process of dealing with and destroying mental strongholds and can be of great help to you.

4__Seek the help of a professional Christian counselor. Avoid secular counselors who have no clue as to the primarily spiritual aspect of mental strongholds.

Bottom line, destroying a mental stronghold means changing our mindset from the world’s way of thinking to God’s way of thinking.

Remember this: Mental strongholds enter the soul when we believe a lie. The solution to tearing down a mental stronghold is to identify the lie, to repent of believing the lie, and to replace the lie with the truth. This is the reason the Word of God commands us in Romans 12: 2 to renew our minds.

Renewing our minds simply means replacing our thinking with God’s thinking. Then, and only then, will we experience the perfect will of God for our lives, which is love, joy, and peace.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Please share your questions and insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “How to Destroy Mental Strongholds” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (Click to Tweet)
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Source citedFreedom from Fear by Dr. Neil Anderson, p.35.

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Convergence: Clear Sign of the End Times”

“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

“Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

Change.  For a while now, it’s been a buzzword across various social and academic strata. The word means different things to different people. But today let’s explore what it means to God.


In God’s Lexicon, at the place of the word change we find the word repent. According to God, to repent is to change, specifically to change one’s way of thinking. 

Virtually every problem we will ever face in life will result from wrong thinking. Wrong thinking proceeds from a lie, and a lie can never provide a solid foundation to life. Only Truth can do that.

So, when God commands us to change, He means for us to stop thinking the way the world thinks.  And how does the world think? It thinks contrary to the way God thinks.

Well, then, how does God think? We discover the way God thinks by studying His Word, the Holy Bible. In this best-selling book of all time, God sets forth His modus operandi, His M.O., for everything that pertains to our lives. I call the Bible God’s Manual for Man. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to study it and apply it to our lives?

So, back to the concept of change. When we study God’s Word, we realize that our thinking needs changing. As we begin to learn the way God thinks, we begin to understand that our thinking is so inferior to His.  He Himself says as much in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 8 and 9:


For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are My ways higher than your ways
    and My thoughts than your thoughts.

 

God Himself tells us that our thinking is off base and far inferior to His. So, what are we to do to get our thinking on track so that we can live more successful, fulfilling lives?

THREE KEYS TO CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE:

The LORD gives us the quintessential formula for success in Joshua 1: 8-9. Look at it carefully:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

In this single verse, we have all that we need to live a successful life. It all boils down to three points: 

1–Meditate on God’s Word.

2–Memorize God’s Word.

3–Decree and Declare God’s Word.

Let’s consider each of this points one by one.

MEDITATE
Success starts with meditating on God’s Word. To meditate means to mull over, to think about, to repeat over and over.  The word meditate comes from the Latin word meditor, which literally means to chew, as in the way a cow chews its cud. By extension, this word means to think about or reflect upon, as in “He’s chewing on the pros and cons of his decision.” 

So, when we meditate on God’s Word, we are chewing on it, mulling over it, thinking about it, and reflecting upon it.

MEMORIZE
Memorizing God’s Word means hiding it in our hearts where no one can steal it from us. Why do we need to meditate on God’s Word? David the Psalmist gives us the reason in Psalm 119: 11: I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Some translations say “stored up” instead of “hidden.”  

So, the purpose of memorizing the Word is to store it in our hearts so that we will not sin against God. When we store the Word in our hearts by memorizing it, the Word will rise to the surface of our minds when we need it to keep us from temptation and to resist Satan.

DECREE AND DECLARE
The third point for living a better life is to decree and declare the Word. Well, how can we readily decree and declare the Word unless we have hidden it–or stored it–in our hearts? Once the Word is stored in our hearts, we can decree and declare it aloud because it is at our finger tips, ready for use.

Why do we need to speak the Word aloud over our circumstances? Because there is supernatural power in the spoken Word of God. Just as God created the universe by speaking, so do we create our lives by speaking. We are, after all, made in His image.

So we had better be sure that the words we are speaking over our lives are God’s words taken straight from His Word. Far too often, we speak negative words and those negative words will result in an unsuccessful life. If you–as.I have been–are guilty of speaking negative words, repent now.

And so, we come full circle to the word repent. To repent means to change. It means changing our thinking so that it aligns with God’s thinking. When we do, we will be renewing our minds. And isn’t this precisely what our Lord commands us to do in Romans 12: 2?

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good
and pleasing and perfect.

Indeed, it is!  And why does our Lord command us to renew our minds? The answer lies in the second part of the verse: Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Does that excite you as much as it excites me? God wants us to change our thinking (our minds) so that we can experience His will for us, “which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

There is no better formula for achieving a better life.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you struggled to change our thinking to align with God’s thinking? If so, in what ways? How have you handled your struggle?


TWEETABLE: “Changing Your Mind for a Better Life” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Make Change Your Ally

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
______________________________________________________________
Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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E

HOW TO CONQUER STINKIN’ THINKIN’

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

Are you a stinkin’ thinker? I used to be. Until, that is, I learned that stinkin’ thinkin’ got me nothing except misery, poor relationships, and failure.

So, what did I do to change? Let me share three Scripture verses that pulled me out of the pit of stinkin’ thinkin’ and put me on the path to happiness, great relationships, and success. As I obeyed these Scripture verses and applied them to my life, they changed me from a negative person to a positive one. They can do the same for you!

Scripture Verse #1: Philippians 4: 8 NLT – “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Easier said than done. But doable, indeed! God never gives us a command without also giving us the ability to obey it. As I set my will and my mind to obey this commandment, I began to realize how much my thoughts were fixed on the opposite: the false, the dishonorable, the wrong, the unholy, the ugly, and the least to be admired. I certainly was not thinking of things that were excellent and worthy of praise. No wonder I wasn’t experiencing the abundant life Jesus died to give me.

Scripture Verse #2: 2 Corinthians 10: 5 NIV “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

What are “arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God?” Simply put, they are the lies that the devil throws at us every day. Those lies come in the form of negative thoughts.

Have you ever tried to lasso a negative thought? It resists capture worse than a bucking bronco. Lassoing (or capturing) a negative thought takes a determined and concerted effort on our part. First, we must monitor our thoughts. Then we must lasso those that disagree with God’s Word. Lassoing our thoughts is difficult enough, let alone capturing them. But once we have captured them, we can’t hold on to our prisoners. We  must give those captured thoughts to Jesus in prayer.

One of the best lessons I learned about monitoring and lassoing my thoughts came from the three-year-old son of a friend of mine. My friend walked into her living room one day and discovered her little guy staring out the window in deep thought.

“Matt,” she asked, “what are you thinking about?”

He turned from the window and looked at her. Then, in a pensive voice that defied his three-years of age, he said, “I’m thinking about what I’m thinking about.”

Profound? No question! This little boy, at a very young age, had learned the importance of monitoring this thoughts.

Are you monitoring your thoughts? Do you think about what you’re thinking about? If not, start now. Doing so will vastly improve your life.

 “Whatever things are true, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable,
excellent, and praiseworthy, think on these things.” – Philippians 4: 8


Scripture Verse #3: Romans 12: 2 NLT
– “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Talk about an amazing promise! Let’s break it down. First, God tells us not to copy the behavior and customs of this world. This means that the world’s way of doing things will lead to destruction. Then God tells us that He wants to change us into new people. God is in the business of making things new. Would you like some newness in your life?

So, how does God change us into new people? By changing the way we think. Success in life is all in the way we think. As we saturate ourselves with God’s Word, we will discover how He thinks. Then, as we change our thinking to align with His thinking, we will reap a great reward. What is that reward?

Let’s look at the end of the verse to find out. There God says that as we allow Him to change our thinking to conform to His thinking, we will then–and only then–experience what God’s will is for us. Then, and only then, will we experience the wonderful relationship He wants us to have with Him. Then, and only then, will we experience the abundant life Jesus died to give us.

Isn’t obeying these three Scripture verses worth it?   

Most people don’t know that whenever I take one of those temperament tests, I always test out dominant for melancholic.  This means that I have a natural tendency to veer toward the negative in my thinking. So I have to keep constant guard over my thought life. By God’s grace, I have trained myself not only to monitor my thoughts but also to lasso them and give them to Jesus. By changing my thinking to agree with His thinking, I have developed a supernatural tendency to veer toward the positive.

If I, a melancholic by nature, can do it, so can you! 🙂

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Are you a stinkin’ thinker? If so, what have you done to turn your thinking around? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “How to Conquer Stinkin’ Thinkin'” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (Click to Tweet)

Check out my 6-minute podcast on this week’s topic below: How to Conquer Stinkin’ Thinkin’


If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts are:

Are You in Bondage to Your Baggage?

How to Make Change Your Ally

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

Are You a Mess of Stress?

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

3 Keys for Getting Rid of Depression

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Young sad girl sitting alone in an empty room

Depression has become an epidemic in our generation. Perhaps you are one who has been affected by depression. Or perhaps you live with someone who is depressed. If either describes you, take a look with me at three keys that will help you win the battle over depression.

Key #1: Recognize that depression is an evil spirit. The Bible calls it “the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61: 3).  Since depression is an evil spirit, we are dealing with a spiritual entity that studies us, that knows our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and that knows when to attack us through those very weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  So, when we deal with depression, we are actually dealing with an evil spirit. Now this evil spirit can cause physical symptoms–like loss of appetite, a skewed view of life, a desire to sleep continually, uncontrollable crying, and other such symptoms.

Key #2:  Recognize that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3: 8). Depression is a work of the devil, and Jesus came to deliver us from it. When you are attacked with depression, call on Jesus to deliver you. Joel 2: 32 says this: “ . . . whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered.” 

Key #3: Begin praising the Lord the instant depression attacks. Now, I am not saying that this is easy to do, but I guarantee that if you start praising God the instant you start feeling depressed, the depression will lift and the spirit of depression will leave.  It works every time. Why? Because when you praise God, He comes on the scene. Scripture tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22: 3).  Because evil spirits cannot tolerate being in the presence of God, they will leave when you praise God. 

Portrait of lonely depressed man sitting on the floor

Like every other spiritual battle, the battle of depression is won with the Word of God. Usually we get depressed because our thinking is skewed. For this reason, a big part of the battle against depression involves renewing our minds (Romans 12: 2).  This means changing our thinking to align with God’s thinking.  We do this by monitoring our thoughts. Every thought that does not agree with what God says about us in His Word we must lasso and give over to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5). 

In closing, consider this: Jesus Christ has already set us free from depression! But it is our job to enforce that freedom by resisting the spirit of depression whenever it rears its ugly head. By God’s grace, we can do it!

YOUR TURN: How have you dealt with the spirit of depression? Please leave a comment in the box below. Thanks!
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“Depression is an evil spirit.” – Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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